South Africa, Reformed Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Africa

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South Africa, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Church Records
Collection years: 1856-1988
Languages: Afrikaans Word List
Title in the Language: Suid-Afrika, Gereformeerde Kerk Rekords
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Reformed Church Archives, Potchefstroom


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes records from 1856 to 1988.

These records include images of christenings, marriages, membership records, and some indexes for several parishes in South Africa and surrounding countries.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Africa, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Baptism records may contain the following information:

  • Name of child
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's birth date
  • Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
  • Name of person performing baptism

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Race of both husband and wife
  • Name and age of groom
  • Groom's country of birth
  • Groom's occupation and residence
  • Name and age of bride
  • Bride's country of birth
  • Bride's occupation and residence
  • Marriage by license or banns
  • Consent or order for marriage given by whom
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of officiant at ceremony

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search in this collection, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Name of ancestor
  • Approximate year of baptism and marriage
  • Ancestor's Religion

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Country"
⇒Select the appropriate "Province"
⇒Select the appropriate "Municipality or Town"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type and Years" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the age in the citizen to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records indexes in the country.
  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either Civil Registration records or Church Records may be more useful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.
  • Be aware that there may have been some transcription errors.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection citation:

"South Africa, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Reformed Church Archives, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Africa, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.